LiDAR Tech for Social Distancing Enforcement

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Social distancing has become a major requirement in the COVID-19 era. 3D LiDAR sensors work by emitting pulsed light waves, which bounce off surrounding objects and reflect back to the sensor. The distance between the sensor and object is calculated by the time it takes for the pulse to return, hence the descriptor “time of flight.”

A 3D LiDAR-based flow management technology already in use by airports for people counting and by industry for access control and security applications has been expanded for use in the enforcement of social distancing.

The platform was developed by Quanergy, a provider of time-of-flight LiDAR sensors and perception software for real-time capture and processing of 3D spatial data and object detection.

With only a change in parameters of the software, Quanergy’s Flow Management Platform, can now support social distancing applications, effectively preventing overcrowding in public places and to enforce building occupancy limits. In essence, it can measure the distance between people in addition to calculating the location of people in a way that preserves anonymity.

The M series LiDAR sensor has a 360-degree horizontal field of view and generates 1.3 million pulses per second in the point cloud, creating a very precise and accurate 3D image. The company’s QORTEX Flow Management platform couples the device with its proprietary machine learning software and 3D perception algorithms, providing anonymized data of people detected in real time under any lighting conditions, according to

Because of the technology’s real time capabilities, the user has the immediate visibility necessary for monitoring social distancing.

The system can also be integrated with thermal cameras in order to identify and track individuals with elevated body temperatures, as opposed to a one-off reading from a thermal camera.